Yorkshire cities are finalists to become HQ of Great British Rail

Doncaster and York have made it onto the six-strong shortlist to become the headquarters of Great British Rail.

Following applications from 42 local authorities across Britain, the cities are now among a handful remaining before a public vote. They join Birmingham, Crewe, Derby and Newcastle.

Wakefield had also launched a bid to host the HQ, but has not been shortlisted.

From 2023, Great British Railways (GBR) will be a state-owned public body overseeing rail transport in Great Britain. It will operate rail infrastructure, control the contracting of train operations, set of fares and timetables, and collection fare revenue in most of England.

In October, the Secretary of State for Transport announced a competition to find a suitable location for Great British Railways outside of London.

The public can now vote on which location they think should be home to the new Great British Rail headquarters and the result of this vote will be used to measure the level of public support for each location and will be considered as part of final decision making.

Doncaster and York can also expect visits from Government ministers and GBR representatives as part of the process which takes place from now until 15 August 2022.

Responding to the news, that York has edged closer to being chosen, Councillor Aspden, leader of City of York Council, said: “This is excellent news, and following work with partners, residents and businesses across the city,  York’s place on this shortlist is nothing less than well-deserved.

“Our city’s strengths are obvious, we have the perfect site in York Central, situated in the centre of the city and located next to York Rail Station, which in turn is at the heart of the largest rail cluster outside of London and the South-East.

“To locate GBR here will not only mean investment in York, but also the Yorkshire and Humber economy, representing a real opportunity to deliver levelling up, with 320 of the most deprived communities in the UK within an hour’s train journey of the city.”

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, said: “I am delighted Doncaster has made the shortlist.

“I firmly believe Doncaster should be the home of Great British Railways, in the heart of South Yorkshire and gateway to the North, we would make the perfect home for GBR and the ideal location from which to run this countries railways.

“Our bid is strong and demonstrates all we have to offer, including our rich rail history, value for money, excellent connectivity and links with the rail sector not to mention our new found city status.

“We’ve already had an overwhelming level of public support for our bid, but now we need the whole of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, the North and beyond to support us by voting for Doncaster.”